Sunday, 14 September 2008

Room uptop

It's party conference time and The Fact Compiler has been invited to attend a series of Network Rail and ATOC shindigs where 'Team Railway' hope to meet the political great and the good.

Not to be left behind Passenger Focus are also intending to press the flesh as they celebrate winning the concession to act as consumer champion for bus as well as rail passengers.

The Fact Compiler knows that as a government agency cash is short but surely they could do better than this?

Anthony Smith, chief executive, Passenger Focus said, “The bus gives us a perfect platform to listen to our most important stakeholders, the passengers - through consultation and research we are making sure we represent passenger priorities at the highest level.

Looks like it's going to be pretty crowded on the top deck then!

Memory loss

The Tories are having a field day putting the boot into Gordon and Shriti's disastrous Tube privatisation.

Quick to jump on a bandwagon, and shift the blame for bad news, is the instantly forgettable Tory shadow Secretary of State for Transport who is now blaming Tube Lines' cost overrun for the likely cancellation of the Cross-River Tram.

Read the Boris Watch story here

A bit rich coming from the party which privatised British Rail, resulting in a massive increase in interfaces and costs, leading to many desperately needed network improvement schemes being shelved as too expensive.

The buck stops where?

The Fact Compiler once worked for a guv'nor who told his staff:

"Where there is success, it is your success; if there is a problem it is mine."

Perhaps a leit motif that might usefully be adopted by other senior managers in our industry!

A couple of weeks ago a "gaffe" saw the following photo appear in Rail issue 599.

In the latest issue editor Nigel Harris has the good grace to acknowledge that this might have been unwise, as it could possibly undermine Rail's splendid campaign against photo-shoots featuring models in the four foot.

So far so good and full marks to Nigel and Rail for taking reader criticism on the chin.

But what's this?

The editor's apology makes clear that he was on holiday when the picture was selected for publication and that on his return he "
had a bit of a chat, here in the office."

Oh dear - it looks like some poor junior minion has received a bollocking and a very public one at that.

Hopefully he at least received 'Higher Grade Duty' payments whilst covering for his buck passing editor?


High praise indeed.

A thread on Tory Troll says that Railway Eye is like 'Guido Fawkes in an anorak'.

Interestingly Tory Troll's masthead is a picture of David Cameron in the cab of a Freightliner class 66.

The world is indeed full of cranks.

Frankenstein sighted

Express Rail Alliance, the Bombardier & Siemens joint venture bidding to produce the IEP, has released some images of what their train might look like.

View the images here.

The Fact Compiler wonders why the train has been given a bar-code instead of a livery?

Presumably as each vehicle will cost an eye watering £3m it will make it easier to total up the cost of the fleet.